A new copy of the omicron mutant suddenly spreads

Scientists are monitoring a new version of the mutant Omicron that was discovered a few weeks ago and looks closer to the original Corona virus, but scientists are seeking to deepen their knowledge of its characteristics and possible repercussions for the future outbreak of the epidemic, especially with its sudden spread in India and Denmark.

And the World Health Organization explained in its weekly press conference yesterday, that the designation of Omicron is actually a “general term” that means without distinguishing several chains of the virus close to each other.

Among these Omicron control strains, the BA.1 version is nearly dominant.

However, some facts are noteworthy: another version, BA.2, has become dominant in India and Denmark, where the number of infections began to rise a few days ago.

Infectious disease expert Antoine Flaholt told AFP: "What surprises us is the speed with which this version of the mutant, which has spread so much in Asia, is concentrated in Denmark."

And he continued, "The country was waiting to reach the peak of the number of infections in mid-January, but that did not happen, and this may have resulted from this version of the mutant, which appears highly contagious, but is not more virulent than the original virus."

The health authorities are currently waiting to know more details about it.

"What is important to us is whether (this version of the mutant) has

different properties than (PA.1) in terms of infection, immune escape and virulence," the French public health authority said.

So far, PA.2 has been detected in France, "but at very low levels".

In contrast, specifically in Denmark, this version is gradually replacing PA.1, the "classic" version of the Omicron mutant, according to the French Public Health Authority.

She added that "the Danish authorities do not have an explanation for this phenomenon, but it is being closely monitored."

For its part, France is closely following the data presented by Denmark.

Despite their caution, the scientists don't seem concerned, and Antoine Flaholt says it's still too early to worry, but "vigilance" is essential.

The director of the Institute for Comprehensive Health at the University of Geneva added: "We currently have the impression that the virulence of (the new version) is similar to that of Omicron, but many questions remain."

Tom Peacock, an infectious disease expert at Imperial College London, tweeted: "Premature observations in India and Denmark indicate that there is no significant difference in risk compared to PA1."

He believed that the discovered mutant should not raise questions about the efficacy of vaccines.

"Even with a slightly higher infection rate compared to the original omicron, a change equivalent to that which occurred when this mutant replaced delta would not be expected at all," he said.

He added, "Personally, I do not think that PA2 will have a significant impact on the current epidemic wave."

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